National has revealed its candidate for the upcoming Christchurch East by-election.
The National Party announced tonight that Matthew Doocey, a 41-year-old Canterbury District Health Board manager, will be their candidate in the November 30 by-election.
Doocey said he was proud to have won the selection, but admitted he had a hard road in front of him.
"It's going to be a big challenge up against the Labour machine in East Christchurch. Of course Lianne Dalziel is a household name there and Labour will be desperate to hold on to the seat," he said.
"But I believe Christchurch East needs a constructive voice inside John Key's National-led Government. It's an electorate with huge opportunities and big decisions to make as it works its way through the recovery and beyond."
Jobs, growth, education and healthcare would be the "bread and butter issues" for the election, he said.
"I think the public appreciate the fact that National has held steady despite the distractions and side-tracks that appear to pre-occupy the other side."
National Party regional chair Roger Bridge said Doocey was a "fresh new face" to the the political landscape in Christchurch, and one of two nominees interviewed for the candidacy.
"While an incumbent Government has never won a by-election in a seat it does not already hold, the National family are united behind Matthew as he accepts the challenge to wrest a seat which Labour has held since 1922".
Doocey is married to Hungarian-born Viktoria and the pair have lived in Redwood since returning to Christchurch from the UK earlier this year.
He went to St Bedes college, then studied counselling psychology at WelTec (Wellington). He has a Bsc (Hons) in Social Policy, an MA in Healthcare Management from Kingston University in London, and an MSc in Global Politics from Birkbeck University in London.
He is also studying towards a Doctorate in Health by distance at Bath University in the UK.
Doocey works at the Canterbury District Health Board as a manager in its surgical division. He has a long career in healthcare management including in the delivery of community mental health and social care services both in voluntary, and Government settings.
He has worked extensively in the voluntary and community sector, including for Youthline NZ.
"Christchurch is my home town. My closest family are here. When I heard about the quakes I really wanted to come home to the city I grew up in and give something back," he said.
"Christchurch East was characterised by strength and resilience in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Now we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the community even stronger and I want to be part of that."
Long-serving Labour MP Lianne Dalziel will relinquish the seat on the eve of the October 12 local body elections, where she is widely expected to win the Christchurch mayoralty.
Labour has put through six candidates: Karen Hayes, Christina Laalaai-Tausa, Tina Lomax, Deon Swiggs, Poto Williams and James Caygill
The selection meeting will take place on September 21 where candidates will deliver a formal speech and voting for a preferred candidate will take place.
The Green party has also confirmed it will put someone forward for the seat and opened nominations today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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